John William Waterhouse, Apollo and Daphne, 1908

The great archer Apollo insulted Eros’ (Cupid’s) archery abilities one day and so, Eros retaliated by shooting two arrows: one with a gold tip hit Apollo and turned him into a love-crazed maniac, while a lead-tipped arrow hit Daphne, a river nymph, causing her to become utterly repulsed by romantic love.

Apollo fell in love with Daphne and continually chased her. When he had nearly caught her, she cried out to her father, the river god Peneus, saying “Help me, Peneus! Open the earth to enclose me, or change my form, which has brought me into this danger! Let me be free of this man from this moment forward!” Peneus heard her call and transformed her instantly into a laurel tree.

Leave a Reply